Guy Grossi is the latest in a long line of Aussie fine dining maestros to branch out into fast food, though there's not a burger in sight on the menu at his newly opened Pezzo. Instead, the chef behind culinary hits like Grossi Florentino, Merchant and Arlechin, has tapped into his roots, his latest offering centred around an Italian street food classic — the humble pizza pocket.
Grossi's take on these 'pezzo' creations first won hearts while appearing on the menu at his salumi bar, Ombra. Now, these pizza pockets have been given top bill at a shiny new all-day eatery in Flinders Lane
But you can quickly delete all thoughts of those frozen McCain lumps — Pezzo's pezzos are the real deal. Made from 48-hour fermented dough, they're baked until they're slightly charred on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside, stuffed with your choice of a handful of Italian-inspired fillings. The menu mixes classic Euro flavours with a few considered, modern twists — and each pezzo bears the hallmarks of the authentic less-is-more approach.
They run from the light and summery No. 5, featuring lightly battered calamari, zucchini and proper Italian-style white sauce ($14.90), to the heartier Shepherd, loaded with fall-apart chunks of lamb shoulder and slices of fragrant rosemary potatoes ($13.90). Purists will be all over the Original, stuffed with a simple trio of tomato, provolone and polpette ($11.90).
To match, you'll find a range of comforting sides, including excellent hand-cut chips dusted with garlic and rosemary ($3.90/$5.90), and a dish of coriander-laced roast pumpkin ($7.90/$9.90). There are also a couple of taps pouring easy-drinking favourites from Hawkers, a tidy rotation of wines and a couple of shakes, served kid-friendly ($7.50) or spiked with a shot of booze ($15).
By morning, Pezzo's working more of a cafe vibe — pastries in the cabinet, pizza pockets filled with the likes of egg and bacon or zucchini and mozzarella, and the espresso machine churning out lattes made on local Territory beans.
Images: Giulia Morlando